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[Editorial]Is this Lee Myung-bak’s New Government or Sohn Hak-gyu’s New Government?

[Editorial]Is this Lee Myung-bak’s New Government or Sohn Hak-gyu’s New Government?

Posted February. 13, 2008 07:37,   


12 days are left until the new government is launched. On Jan. 16, the presidential transition team promised to make a “cost-efficient and competent government” by streamlining 18 ministries and four agencies into 13 ministries and two agencies.

A month has passed since then. However, the National Assembly has yet to approve the reorganization plan due to strong opposition from the leading opposition party, the United New Democratic Party. Considering there are scheduled meetings like hearings for ministerial candidates, today is technically the official start of the incoming government. But if the opposition party continues to interfere with the new government’s reorganization, it will inevitably hamper the new government’s work.

I want to ask Sohn Hak-gyu, chairman of the UNDP, this question. “Is the incoming government that is scheduled to launch on midnight of Feb. 25 Lee Myung-bak’s or Sohn Hak-gyu’s?” Sohn’s party blames the transition team for coming up with the reorganization plan without thorough consideration.

Then, I ask, “Who has done the most to make the next government succeed?” “Do you think President-elect Lee Myung-bak is playing games to become an ‘unsuccessful president’?” “Would you do that if you had succeeded in becoming president?”

There is no right answer to government organization. The president-elect considers a government consisting of 13 ministries and two agencies as a “small one.” But there are even some who doubt whether a government whose functions and organizations are merely streamlined can be called small.

After seeing the Grand National Party decide not to do away with the Ministry of Unification, the opposition party has been urging the transition team to rescue the Ministry of Gender Equality, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, and the Rural Development Administration. It seems that the party is making an all-out effort to win votes from women, fishermen and farmers. Certainly, it doesn’t care to consider whether the ministries should exist or not.

Can Sohn honestly deny these suspicions? “Do you really believe that the nation will face difficulties without these two ministries and the agricultural agency?” “Can you honestly say that your party has seriously strived to form a better government?”

The UNDP and the Democratic Party reached an agreement to merge their two parties the day before yesterday. It certainly was quite an achievement. So much so, that I’m doubtful whether Sohn actually had any time to take a close look at the new government’s reorganization plan.